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Thread: The Applications folder & the Applications folder

  1. #1
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    This is what I have done so far to make sense of the question of applications installed at root and applications installed at the remote user volume (/Volumes/home directory/Applications):

    1.I decided to keep all Apple-installed apps right where they are on the root OS partition (~/Applications) but not use them at all. I'd through them out but it'll be a lot easier when the next system upgrade arrives 'cause these apps 'll likely get upgrades too.

    2. I copied all those Apple-installed apps, adding them to my own applications folder a long side my new home on a seperate partition. I removed all the original aliases from the dock, replacing them with aliases made from apps in my new apps folder.

    3. For applications that use the Apple Help Viewer, I first installed them in the default Applications folder on the OS partition. Then I copied them to my applications folder and deleted the first installation. Aliases to the help files were automatically made in /Volumes/home directory/Library/Documentation/Help (on my remote users volume). This preserves their full functionality vis a vis command+shift+?.

    I figure when its time for either a system upgrade that also upgrades the Apple apps or an individual upgrade to one of these Apple-installed apps, I can simply install in the default Applications folder, then copy the upgrade back over to my own apps folder...but meanwhile all preferences and stuff like AppleWorks User Data, Acrobat User Data, iTunes etc are written to my remote users volume.

    This should be a workable approach for the time being in anticipation of frequent system updates, and the desire to keep my default Applications folder to a minimum size. A regularly-scheduled backup using CCC will add security to the mo-

    George

    [This message has been edited by gmidd (edited 19 March 2002).]

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    I like it George,

    As you know I'm wanting exactly that but I dislike the way Apples installers will insist that we install apps at root. I sure hope that gets resolved soon, there's a whole lot of folks who will find what you just did a more than daunting task.

    congrats on a clean solution to the problem, very nice.

    Rick

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    As a side note, this also led me to an exam of the default Help folder in the 9 system folder. Because my 9 apps are not on the root partition, I was having similar issues with Help viewer. So, as a workaround, after installing an app (that uses Help Viewer) in the default Applications (OS9) folder first and then moving it to my 9 apps partition, I also removed any installed help folders from Help in system folder, put 'em with the application, them put an alias to those help folders back in Help (including Mac Help). But I left the Help Viewer app right there...
    This allowed me to trim 30MB from my system folder, and also insures that I won't have to reinstall the app if I need to initialize the root disk. And all the help files are accessable from each of those apps and the and the menubar.. -g

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    George

    Did you really make 11 partitions? What are your thoughts on setting up drives. I have the 40 and 60 gig to foo foo with. I have tons of space my system OSX, 9.2.x, apps, and data files would all fit on 4-5-6 GB.

    Many people at the Apple discussions make a lot of partitions. I am leaning towards fewer. I still like OSX and 9.2.2 on different partitions. I have no clue what is better? I have lots of time to play around and shuffle things. By the time I start really using X apps I should have it figured out.

    I got to many projects going on. Learning this OSX was/is an extra one... But I would like to "know it NOW really good - details" it is going to take a while.

    Thanks everyone for the input on OS X............ Mo Bassetbal was in the VT. u now the A NCCAAA thingey ho the bee to seewt 16 todaa.

    Good Job PAC 10 West Coast - UCLA, Oregon Wins Rick you were right this new puter is really fun. But tweaking the 7500 was more fun and I learned so much. Can't wait till this QS733 needs a rebuild. Maybe I should have gone B*W or the G4 450's - I love this playing, tweaking, learning.

    Later, Randy

    [This message has been edited by rwm2 (edited 17 March 2002).]

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    To partition, and thence, how many?

    If only you could delete or resize, huh? Actually, Disk Utility does but.

    Also, for best performance, leave 35% space free. the outer tracks are faster. Moving a head between volumes is work and time. I think OS X though (the system itself) be on the first volume. Ideally not more than one install per drive (and only one Bootx file therefore).

    OS X 'seems' to move volumes - I've seen the last volume get shrunk when I later inspected it. There are invisible partitions, drivers, and other things and each partition also removes a chunk of disk space just to set it up.

    With one volume, OS X decides what I can and cannot do. I end up with aliases to Downloads, "My Applications" inside /Applications or inside /Users/uuserid.

    I want to keep the system together where optimizing and fragmentation aren't an issue; and easy to backup quickly. I have image files that are large and just take up space on the slowest out of the way inner tracks.

    A place for 2GB of packages and installers. I copied all the package files off the Install CDs. I also keep copies of CDs (Mac OS 9.2.1 even) as image files for easy access.

    2-3 volumes per drive. Maybe 4.

    Even though I don't see more than one 80MB swap file, I think when OS X says that it has allocated 2.2GB of virtual, well, having that extra 2-3GB as part of the system volume is fine. OS X fits inside 1.5GB but I never want it that cramped. It installs faster with more room.

    It is easier in OS X to jump between volumes in the Open/Save dialogue than it was in OS 9. Each drive has its own icon, color and it is distinct.

    Backup Set #1 - online at all times
    #2 - SCSI and off line
    #3 - FireWire and can be plugged it any time

    System drive "/" (OS X, Classic, OS X #2, etc)
    User Data "Home" - another volume for multimedia
    Software "My Stuff" - apps, utilities, installers, image files, etc.
    Drive #4 - Scratch - Projects

    I just wish I had waited a year to buy disk drives. Today's drives outrun anything from 9-12 months ago!

    Gregory

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    I don't think I fully understand what your talking about. I know I don't. But keep writing info.

    Thanks Gregory
    Randy

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    Well I got out the OS X, OS 9.2.1 CD's and used the setup from the OS X disk to partition my 60 gig into 4 partitions - for now. I could not get exactxly 7.9 GB on the first it was about 7.8? the next increment seemed to be 8.?GB - so I went for the 7.8?GB. The second and third partitions would only go as small as 4.35 GB and the forth was about 40 gigs. I put OS 9.2 on it.

    For now I am not sure what to do with the two 4.35GB partitions - I'll learn.

    Randy

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    Randy, I decided since I have a surplus of drives, why not take full advantage of them. At this point I can handle the maintenance of multiple partitions so I worked out a scheme on paper- took me about a week and a lot of pondering (beer) to make all my choices...

    I was going for maximum overall speed, and isolation of documents and applications from operating systems. By using the outer tracks of my six hard drives, I figured I could get the best overall speed by dividing up the elements thusly:

    each drive save for one has 2 partitions:
    No. 1 drive- IDE40GB7200rpm first partition is about 3G and houses my main X and 9 systems; #2 partition is storage.
    No. 2 drive- IDE40GB7200rpm first partition is about 6G and contains my X home folder, and all my applications for 9 and X. #2 partition is storage.
    No. 3 drive- scsi18GB15000rpm first partition is about 2.5G and is my scratch disk, and where I'm trying to locate my swapfile for the X system on drive No. 1. #2 partition contains various resources used by graphic apps, like plugins, a font database, and all kinds of stored software installers.
    No. 4 drive- scsi18GB15000rpm is not partitioned and contains all my documents, images files, email mailboxes, and cache folders for all my browsers.
    No. 5 drive- fw40GB5400rpm first partition is 1.5G and has my backup X system. Second partition has a bunch of backups.
    No. 6 drive- fw40GB5400rpm first partition is 350MB and has my backup 9 system, which is customized for use as 'Classic' by the X system on hard drive No. 1. Second partition has a bunch of backups and mp3's....

    So there's my insanity. Some would say it's a sad waste of raidable cheetah, but I don't care. And I'd probably be better off by adding an Acard, but I have to stop this hardware gluttony somewhere! As for the efficiency of the system; it's really set up for fast graphics work and is performing very nicely in that arena. Whether it's the best partitioning scheme for my requirements, who knows but it seems pretty damn fast!

    George

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    George,

    that sounds really good. but once SoftRAID is out for OS X... tell me you're not going to stripe those X15's?

    One thing that is so great about X now is being able to scan in the background. That alone means I don't need to tie up the machine or devote my 7300 into just doing scans.

    I'd like to output all scans to its own drive so it really doesn't affect other work.

    An article on moving the swap files to a dedicated drive or partition by the guy that wrote CCC is HERE and looks at using multiple drives and partitions to improve performance.

    Anyone who thought Multifinder was a great way to unleash the power of an SE/30, OS X unleashes the power of a G4. I'd have to have 3-4 computers hooked together to do what a B&W G3 maxed out with RAM, drives, two monitors, ATTO, G4 (WHEN is XLR8 going to have a dual-G4? or is it just not doable? I've read that getting good performance is more difficult than anticipated for some reason). You'd THINK that a dual G4/500 would help.

    Gregory

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    Yep I'll probably re-stripe 'em eventually. Everything's positioned now so I can do that then with a minimum of fuss, assuming we're not charged an arm and a leg for softRAID X.

    Supposedly, I've successfully relocated the swapfile for my primary X system to my scratch disk. I accomplished this using SwapCop. I tried using Bombich's command line- but couldn't figure out how to complete the operation due to a language barrier (I don't speak unix yet).

    I had a devil of a time with SwapCop. I don't know if my internet prefs are florfed or what or it's X1.3, but for starters, SwapCop insisted on connecting to the internet every time I used it (course, every time I shake X out of a screensaver, it insists on connecting to the internet before presenting the password dialog (x1.3?)).I tried to assign remote swapfile locations for both my X systems. Ultimately, I was finally able to only do this for one system, as every time I tried to do it for the second system, it would wipe out or move the first swapfile relocation to some random volume. Add to this, if the the swapfile for your boot disk is on the same volume as the system, its invisible. You just have to assume its there-

    Who knows whether this mucking about will translate in to a performance gain or not; I can't tell. I don't even know how to tell if the swapfile is being used other than carefully watching my external scsi LED to see if its lighting up during some operation that isn't using documents/scratch on those 2 drives.

    Anyway, now I've really got figure out how to gain complete access to this computer; I threw away an old clone of the default applications folder but I can't empty the trash because I "don't have sufficient priviliges to complete this operation". It's a sad day when you can't even empty your own trash. And who owns this %#!*$ computer anyhow!

    So far in all this process with X, I've had 1 Finder crash, 1 hard freeze requiring a hard re-start, Exploder crashed once- though I'm mostly using various OmniWeb builds at this point- and several 3rd party screensavers have crashed..

    George

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    George -

    Getting to know the terminal does have its advantages.

    'top' is easy and provides some details.
    'vm_stat' will provide some good data (more useful than counting LED lights I'm sure!)
    'df -k' you'll love this one
    'AppleSystemProfiler'
    'nvram -p'

    I think you'll begin to appreciate and love terminal once you look at what is available, just take it gradually.

    Process Viewer: shows how much real and virtual is allocated to a process. Allocated, though, does not mean that it is or will ever be used.

    SNAX will let you look through files and packages even so you can peek into temporary invisible directories and see how many swap files are created.

    Classic will "allocate" 1GB of virtual memory even though nothing is being used or written out.

    Some programs will write out and the next time they are launched they won't have to write out again. Even a logout won't wipe out virtual files. Makes the next relaunch of an app faster - because there is overhead the first time.

    /var/vm/ is the directory where you will find the swap0, swap1 files.

    Try Trash-X 1.3 to deal with trash issues. Also SuperGet Info (BareBones Software - makers of BBEdit), SNAX also help deal with trash. Trash X was updated and posted today so it is on Version Tracker.

    Because I have only the minimum on my OS X volume, and lots of free space, as well as on the outer partition, I let the system handle the swap but SwapCop looked to be easy to use. the only reason I have two swap files today is I was doing a lot of memory intensive scans and manipulating large images.

    There are notes on MacFixit/MacInTouch (often they can be same person sending email to both) about "duplicate" Finders in /CoreServices but one is listed as 'fake' anyway and is there for something I'd think. It shows as v. 10.0 but I just did a clean install of 10.1 full CD and update to 10.1.3. The 'real' Finder is 3.9MB in there and this one is 4k fake that doesn't seem to be hurting. I don't have or trust an OS 10.0 and then update to 10.1. I buy each OS CD.

    Gregory

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    Keep on posting. I am learning everyday. YA, Beat me on that post Gregory.

    Thanks, Randy


    [This message has been edited by rwm2 (edited 18 March 2002).]

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    Thanks Greory, I'll look into those utilities....
    Yes, actually I'm kinda psyched about learning to useTerminal. I've got the Missing Manual on order and hopefully, along with the posts here, some at MacAddict, and info at Westwind Mac OSX reference- that'll get me started. I'm just kinda timid about it - don't want to screw anytrhing up before I know the basic commands.
    Thanks btw, for the build page for OmniWeb; each version seems to vary sometimes considerably.

    It really seems that given the knowledge of command-line, applescript and sufficient creativity, the sky's the limit as to what one could do to customize X. It's pretty impressive already, all the 3rd party utilities and gui mod apps coming out...

    George

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    TrashX did the job.

    Got my 3rd party screensavers to run from home by copying Screen Savers folder (~/Library/Screen Savers) to /Volumes/home directory/Library and then putting my screensavers in the folder!

    Funny that 10.1.3 should include an outdated version of Stuffit Expander- could barely open anything with it 'til I figured out I needed to update and then had...

    a real knockdown tussle with Stuffit Deluxe 6.5.1 upgrade installer (I already had SD 6.5). The installer only wanted to upgrade my various classic Deluxes after searching for 10 minutes and presenting me with 'which one do you want to upgrade?' dialog. Finally I said screw it and decided to see if it would in fact upgrade my 9 Stuffit Deluxe on a different volume from X just for kicks. So I hit the install..

    and I'll be damned if it didn't immediately present me with a new dialog showing all my X Stuffit folders! I hit the install for my /Volumes/home directory/Applications/Utilities/Stuffit Deluxe and it went without a hitch and now everything's opening fine.

    My swapfiles are now at:
    /Volumes/scratch disk/private/var/vm/swapfile0 (this is what I wanted)
    /Volumes/a documents partition/private/var/vm/swapfile0 (this is not what I wanted)
    and
    ~/var/vm/swapfile0 (the root of my backup X)

    Some good successes today!

    George



    [This message has been edited by gmidd (edited 19 March 2002).]

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    As a follow-up about installation of apps at /Volumes/home directory/Applications..
    I installed several new utilities directly at that location yesterday, and no adjustments were required. Some of them use Apple Help Viewer and the links were already there. Stuffit Deluxe installed stuff there but also at~/Library/Application Support. I'll try moving those files to /Volumes/home directory/Library/Application Support. I guess some apps require more work than others to get them operating completely from /Volumes/home directory...

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    Moving Applications has some risks. Which is why I leave /Applications as is for installers. Using CCC or ditto to copy or move is safe as it retains resource forks - but "a little knowledge" can be a danger. Which is why I like to inspect multiple 'tip' sites that purpose to do the same thing, like move swap files or /users.

    There is also a tip on moving swap, and a caveat on why not to do it. Unless swap is really being abused, low memory, lots of pageouts showing in 'top -au' best left alone. (we're so use to the waste and overhead of OS 9 and it's 100's of MB VM file - a 76MB file that won't be used?)

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the link- I'll probably try this at some point.. still working out the kinks of this five drive setup. I'm doing the same as you with the installers, but putting my own X apps on a separate drive along with my classic system- which I've winnowed down to 175MB thank you very much- and the remaining 9 apps. I aliased these to the default apps folder on ~/.
    I found that running classic from a fw drive was not as fast as running it from one of these 7200rpm IDE's...

    I'm running a big, fat Apple RAIDed 1-volume stripe from my cheetahs now (NO PARTITIONING ALLOWED GOD ALMIGHTY) (Jeez, I hope they get their act together on that one!) (What's up with softRAID anyway? It's April already!)

    [This message has been edited by gmidd (edited 26 March 2002).]

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    Glad it's working. For me, having /Users on its own drive makes it easy to deal with... every OS X system looks to it so I'm always using the same /home directory and settings. Backup that drive to another is a snap.

    SoftRAID: another month. That along with SystemWorks (Disk Warrior, Retrospect, Norton, AntiVirus) are all coming out 'soon.'

    And all of them are looking to Apple to make sure 10.2 which is "soon" won't break or force rewrites (and there ARE some bugs in SCSI, some temporary workarounds that come with the caveat that those 'fixes' will break when a permanent solution is delivered). And Apple has a real habit of doing those things. When 10.1 came out, OmniWeb 4.06 lost support and was made unusable and unstable due to APIs in the OS that it depends on that were now missing.

    More tools and documentation from Apple to track down problems and help optimize code keep appearing which can only help, but it takes time and SoftRAID or Apple's RAID will 'mature' over time.

    Gregory

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    Ok I got some new wind... I noved my swapfile again, onto a partition on an internal drive not containing my primary system. I noticed a moderate speed bump right away. Then I moved my Users to my striped volume and wham, the thing screams! (As an added bonus, I can now put my documents in the default Documents folder!)
    Plus, I figured out the thing for me to do was yes, use the 9 partition on my fw drive for classic...I take back what I said in my previous post: it is indeed faster to run classic from this fw; classic apps act as if they're striped they're so fast. This also doubles as my complete back up system. If I take this fw offline, I have another 9 (and X) partition internally I can use for classic.
    I'm starting to get my feet wet on Terminal. The Holy Grail for me now is to move the default X Appplications folder with hard links so installers will act proper . That way, I'll have the system on one drive, the apps on another and my home and documents on the stripe.
    I rec'd the Missing Manual so now I don't feel like I'm working without a net....

    sudo chown! -g

    [This message has been edited by gmidd (edited 28 March 2002).]

  20. #20
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    The page that talked about moving /Applications (Apple's) also said there were problems, which is why I've a) made a .dmg of my system 10.1.3 'as was,' b) left /Applications in place and just link to /Home/Myapplications.

    Swap? Check top in terminal. Not sure what you can find?

    control-x control-d (full list of commands, then use "man")
    vm_stat
    top -au or top -du

    ... vm_swap will show just how much disk I/O and paging is going on, the 'top -du' will show cumulative statistics on read and write and VM.

    Found out VueScanX was the only app using swap AND was creating a 2ND! swap1 file... vmmap shows what is going on.

    There was a question on OSXFAQ today, "why remove classic?"
    * So it doesn't launch!
    * So you can open a file and get a native app to open.
    * So even Classic IE doesn't launch.
    * So installers can't 'accidentally' load the wrong OS.
    * In case there really IS an imperfect marriage of driver, partition map, volume bit map and toc, (even though both are hfs+)

    Gregory

    Once we have SoftRAIDX, does that mean I can put 'swap' on RAID0 and create say 4GB or something of swap running at 200MB/s or so? I actually think that may be of use to some few who really need more memory than the Mac now supports.

    I've heard people ask how to; I see where IBM has eServer with 16GB memory; and $2000 for 4-8GB of RAID0 VM might be useful. (4 x X15's + UL4D?)

    [This message has been edited by Gregory (edited 28 March 2002).]

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